A Guide to Secure Productive Enterprise Licensing

Get answers to the most common Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise* (SPE) licensing questions. Uncover the value of what SPE can bring to your organisation.

At OCG, we speak to many organisations looking to harness the benefits of cloud and mobile solutions to release their workforce from the shackles of the past. Solutions that enable employees to work and collaborate from anywhere, at any time and on any device, with simple and secure access to the applications they need to boost their productivity.

In parallel, as more information, devices and users travel beyond the traditional network restraints, every organisation needs to place security at the forefront of a modern workforce strategy.

It’s been 6 months (October 2016) since Microsoft released its Secure Productive Enterprise package, and in conversation with customers we’ve heard many questions around the following themes:

  • What is SPE all about?
  • Is SPE just ECS under a new name?
  • Is SPE just a licensing bundle?



1. What is Secure Productive Enterprise All About?

SPE is a licensing option from Microsoft that effectively bundles Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security technologies into a single offering. It comes in two variants: SPE E3 and SPE E5. It can be purchased per user, and you can make a significant cost saving doing it this way rather than buying the products individually.

There are several other nuances, in terms of how you can buy SPE (which licensing program) and how much it will cost you. The answers to these questions will largely depend on your organisation’s requirements and your current licensing position with Microsoft.

For more details on the licensing specifics of SPE, you can read Microsoft’s at-a-glance licensing guide.

2. Is SPE just ECS under a different name?

The Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) has effectively become SPE E3 and includes the following core products and services:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise (E3)
  • Office 365 (E3)
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security (E3)

3. What is Enterprise Mobility + Security?

Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) is simply what was the Enterprise Mobility Suite. The name change reflects the significant number of security products and services that have been added to this solution since the launch of EMS.

4. So, is SPE just a licensing bundle?

SPE can just be a licensing bundle, if that’s all you want it to be. But it is also much more…

There is so much technology in SPE (and Microsoft is adding to it all the time) that it can be hard to keep up.

Even as a licensing option, Microsoft has included some firsts. SPE includes brand new cloud and on-premises licensing entitlements to help organisations who plan to transition to the cloud over time, allowing Software Assurance customers to install Office Professional Plus and Office 365 Professional Plus on up to five devices per user for the length of the subscription.

You also get the on-premises server rights for SharePoint, Exchange and Skype for Business thrown in.

For an at-a-glance view of the current technologies in SPE E3 and E5, you can view our snapshot guide.



As you can see in our snapshot guide, there is so much technology in SPE that we simply don’t have time to go through each of them in a single blog post.

In our next blog, we’ll examine each of the core elements (Windows 10, Office 365 and EMS) in turn, and focus on the exciting security technologies that enable you to protect, detect and react to cyber security threats, with an aim to answering the common question: “Why would I need E5 over E3?”

If you are keen to evaluate where your organisation is on its journey to delivering a modern productive workforce, why not complete our Secure Digital Transformation Assessment? It takes just 90 seconds, and you will receive a tailored report with recommended actions and best practices to consider.

Or, if you want to know more about SPE, watch a recording of our webinar, in which two of our experts explain and demonstrate the capabilities of various technologies in the suite.

And don’t forget to download our snapshot guide to Secure Productive Enterprise licensing.

*Please note: Secure Productive Enterprise was renamed Microsoft 365 in July 2017.